Introducing Brighton & Hove
Raves on the beach, Graham Greene novels, mods and rockers in bank-holiday fisticuffs, naughty weekends for Mr and Mrs Smith, classic car runs from London, the UK's biggest gay scene and the Channel's best clubbing – this city by the sea evokes many images among the British. One thing is for certain: with its bohemian, cosmopolitan, hedonistic vibe, Brighton is where England's seaside experience goes from cold to cool.
Brighton is without doubt the UK's most colourful and outrageous city and one with many faces. Here bosomy burlesque meets contemporary design, Spanish students leave Starbucks to rub shoulders with stars in Spanish bars, the Southeast's grottiest hostels share thin walls with kinky boutique hotels, £4-a-pint microbrew ales occupy bar space with £1 buckets of 'sex on the beach', and stags watch drag. This is a city which returned the UK's first Green Party MP in 2010, and where Valentine's Day is celebrated with more gusto than Christmas and is the place, according to the 2001 census, with highest UK population of Jedi.
Brighton rocks all year round, but really comes to life during the summer months, when tourists, language students and revellers from London, keen to explore the city's legendary nightlife, summer festivals and quirky shops, pour into the city. The highlight for the sightseeing visitor is, without doubt, the weird and wonderful Royal Pavilion, a 19th-century party palace built by the Prince Regent who kicked off Brighton's love of the outlandish.
Brighton & Hove destination guides
Top gay-friendly destinations
Here's our top ten list of gay and lesbian cities in the world. 1. San Francisco, USA Image by tedeytan Rainbow flags adorn apartment windows and bar entrances in many San Francisco neighbourhoods, with nearly every bar and business in the Castro catering to gays and lesbians.
Mini guide to Brighton, England
Brighton is one of Britain’s youngest cities, both literally – it was awarded city status for the millennium – and figuratively, in its unconventional, creative attitude. Although it’s pretty small, there’s a huge amount going on, especially on the pier and beach.